For Shafick Adams, the task of ensuring water security in South Africa is one that rests with us all. As the executive manager at the water research commission, and a recent appointee to the presidential climate commission, he continues to make significant contributions to securing our access to water.
He holds a PhD and MSc from the University of the Western Cape, where he was a lecturer prior to his current role, in which he manages research projects relating to groundwater, water protection and capacity development, with the goal of creating better tools from the findings.
South Africa’s reputation for high-quality water may seem under threat, but Adams still believes the majority of South Africans’ tap water to be of a high standard and safe to drink. However, this could change rapidly in the context of global climate change and more localised issues.
One of the potential answers that Adams offers in response to the issues South Africans face is regarding our natural groundwater. He argues that by introducing more groundwater into usage we may mitigate the negative effects of consecutive dry seasons and climate change.
Adams remains optimistic about these challenges without downplaying the need for change. He reminds us that we do not want to find ourselves unable to drink our tap water, something that can be avoided through a concerted effort between efficient management and civic responsibility. If we are to realise the water security that is so vital to a healthy country, we need to continue to develop expertise on the subject. As a relatively dry geographic region, we cannot afford the costs of poor management and ageing infrastructure.
We cannot afford the costs of poor management and ageing infrastructure